Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
dave5.19e

Guiding in the PNW

Recommended Posts

Hi there folks, 

I am going to start my own little Owner/Operator Climbing Guide Service during the summer weekends in the PNW. I am in the planning phase, this is about 1-2 years out. Obviously I will want to get licensed and insured, and I will want to educate myself on the permit process. Can anyone point me in the right direction? I would like to start doing some research in regards to jurisdictional requirements so I can determine what my next steps are going to be.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would place a call up to the joint NPS/USFS office in Sedro Woolley and talk with Orlando Garcia.  He handles special use permits for guides in the North Cascades and could let you know what you are in for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are genuinely interested in becoming a professional guide, get certified.  You will need wilderness first responder (WFR) first aid, leave no trace (LNT) certification, and avalanche training (if ski or alpine guiding).  You will need to take courses and exams through the AMGA to work towards guide certification.  You can work concurrently for a reputable guide service for a few seasons while taking courses as a guide aspirant before striking out on your own. 

The days of any Johnny rock jock with a rope calling themselves a guide are thankfully over.  One thing I learned from trying my hand at guiding is it is NOT climbing.  Guiding requires a huge tool box and skills, both technical and soft, which you would not necessarily pick up from recreational climbing.  This is where the AMGA courses, exams, and certifications come in. The two traits all good guides have in common are, from my experience, a mellow, unflappable disposition and a dedication to their profession. 

Traditionally, only guide services could obtain permits.  Now there is the a guide coop for obtaining permits for certified guides: http://www.certifiedguidescooperative.com/.  Also, independent guides can piggy back on other guide services permits.  I recommend contacting Chris Simmons, a full IFMGA certified guide who has worked all over the world and is the consummate professional guide.  He could give you a better perspective of what it entails to go from working for a guide service to striking out on ones own. https://simmonsmountain.works/

 

Edited by DPS
  • Thanks 1
  • Rawk on! 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guiding is a regulated profession everywhere in the world, except in the US, where old remnants of previous anarchy fester. It should be norm to have AMGA guides as only guides. The process of certification ensures at least basic minimum standard of proficiency and knowledge. And yes- climbing is not guiding. Your priority is get people to the top and back SAFELY. So the first step should be contacting AMGA and signing up for certifications and exams. It takes on average 3-5 years to go through the process. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  I realize guides bring adventure to people who would or could never do it on their own, but ever since seeing the bags of feces/food/litter being thrown in crevasses by large guided teams on Denali and the other damage done by classic guided routes (w.ridge forbidden, ect..) I wish guiding would not be allowed on Denali or anywhere else. If you cannot acsend/desend a mountain on your own or with a few others then learn, train and climb less peaks until your ready. I know its a radical view that will never happen. just as I wished rapp bolting never had been allowed. But since it is allowed I hope the rules get stricter and the guides follow them.

  • Rawk on! 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Several guide services are flying out all their shit on Denali, and have been for the last two seasons, at this point it may be all of them.

  • Rawk on! 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×